I’m sorry, but I have to divide Jake’s Sunday Post assignment for this week into two sections: animate, and inanimate, and, because I seem incapable of deciding these days, my featured photograph will have its antithesis, as a means of expressing the all-encompassing breadth of “nature”.
Animate: the living aspect of nature.
My selection is a little obvious, given my Sri Lanka connection, of course, but what could be the antithesis of Elephas Maximus Maximus but a gorgeous butterfly?
I hope you enjoy my pictures of two of natures untold marvels.
Some years back I brought my (then) 97-year-old mother to see “my” Sri Lanka. She was determined not to like it, but her resolution finally failed her after we spent an afternoon watching a herd of elephants which had gathered in the grassy crater of the Mineriya Tank near Polonnaruwa. Spellbound, we sat silent and unmoving – with only the flimsy chassis of the old jeep for ‘protection’ – as the herd socialised over the business of eating and bathing, babies suckled, and youngsters played. It was only the arrival of a lone male which caused the mothers to cast a glance at these exuberant teenagers, who cavorted like two gargantuan puppies on the grass and into water with total disregard for us (puny and uninteresting creatures).
Apart from the miraculous spectre of a laughing elephant, I like this photograph because it shows how little there is between us.
Like frogs, butterflies are an indication of the health of the environment. For centuries, Sri Lanka was renowned for its butterflies, but even here in paradise chemical insecticides have been introduced as a means of increasing production and our butterfly population is becoming more reclusive.